Creating and maintaining a mentally healthy workplace goes hand in hand with creating an inclusive workplace. As part of Global Diversity Awareness Month, and celebrating World Mental Health Day, we are spotlighting the great work done to support wellbeing in our ASEAN business unit, by the Singapore team.

Keller Singapore team celebrating Diwali

Last month, Keller was invited by The Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council - a statutory board under Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower - to take part in the Workplace Safety and Health Conference 2022, one of Southeast Asia’s biggest workplace safety and health (WSH) events. The purpose of this conference is to bring business leaders, WSH practitioners and government officials to discuss and share best practices in WSH strategies and how it can be a vital building block for business sustainability.

Keller’s Singapore team were invited thanks to its commendable approach to wellbeing, and Singapore’s General Manager Seah Yeow Teck was proud to represent the company on the ‘Speak up! Psychologically safe workplaces’ panel. Seah shared Keller’s wellbeing framework, how they’ve built a culture of care and ensured a more inclusive workplace in the business unit.

“I had the easy job of talking about it,” says Seah. “Our success is mainly attributed to the Wellness Committee, HR and HSEQ, whose passion and drive in taking care of our colleagues’ wellbeing has made a significant positive impact on Keller.”

Work-life harmony

Earlier this year, Keller in Singapore’s outstanding approach to employee welfare also won a Workplace of the Year Award for the Best Work-Life Harmony.

This accolade celebrates organisations that support employee resilience, mental health, wellbeing and psychological safety in the workplace. The high-profile awards are in their second year and are run by employee tech company EngageRocket in partnership with the Institute for Human Resource Professionals, which is backed by government and trades unions.

Singapore is well-known for its ‘hustle culture’, typified by long working hours and a relentless drive for success. But that mentality is starting to change. The past decade has seen an increase in dual-income couples struggling to juggle work commitments with raising young children and / or looking after elderly relatives. Many have had enough and are trying to redress the work-life balance. Keller is one company that recognises the effect a hustle culture can have on employees’ mental health, morale and productivity, and so has long supported colleague welfare.

Wellness Committee

“We’ve been running wellness initiatives in Singapore for several years, guided by Keller’s global Foundations of Wellbeing framework,” says Loh Ferng-Lyng, HR Manager. “For the award, organisations were judged by a panel of industry experts, based on data and metrics demonstrating the impact of support for employees.”

The team were able to highlight a wide range of positive initiatives and improvements. These include introducing flexible and hybrid working policies, better hours for operations and yard colleagues, and adopting the Tripartite Standards on Work-Life Harmony. The latter promotes good practices for protecting employees’ time outside of work, particularly around emails and other communications.

“One of the keys to our success is having an excellent Wellness Committee, which is designed and run by employees, for employees,” she adds. “We have a people-first strategy that has buy-in from all levels.”

The committee is at the heart of all activities, celebrating cultural events, organising games and team exercises, and running seminars focusing on mental and physical health topics.

A better balance for migrant workers

Support also extends to Singapore’s migrant workers, many of whom come from India.

“Construction projects can be very demanding in terms of running long hours or requiring urgent attention,” says Loh. “But we’re committed to flexible working on site as well as in the office, and overcoming the barriers towards work-life harmony for our operations people.”

The Wellness Committee also helps migrant workers on their days off, organising events and trips, and celebrating birthdays and family events. During the COVID-19 pandemic, online activities brought workers together and care packages were sent home to help families overseas.

“Good work-life harmony is a virtuous circle for the company – happier employees produce better results,” she adds. “We’ve always had good feedback internally for our efforts, but winning this award against big-name organisations gives us external validation that we’re on the right track with our approach to wellbeing.”

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